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More Information
The Cape Cod Rail Trail is open year-round for, weather permitting, walking, biking, inline skating, horseback riding and cross-country skiing. A trail map, along with other useful details about side trips and local resources, is available through the Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources. You can also contact Nickerson State Park at 508.896.3491; the park staff maintains the trail.

For additional maps, photos, user reviews and trail information, visit, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's free trail-finder website.

More Travel Facts for the Cape Cod Rail Trail

"When Henry David Thoreau resolved in 1849 to walk the easternmost edge of Cape Cod from Orleans to Provincetown, Mass., he was seeking both a physical challenge
—the route was 28 milesand an intimate observation of nature along the narrow arm of land. A century and a half later, when I followed in Thoreau's footsteps using the Cape Cod Rail Trail, the experience was at once strikingly different from Thoreau's and remarkably similar..."

Read the rest of Ben Keene's story from the Fall 2010 issue of Rails to Trails magazine to lap up more about the 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail in Massachusetts. From the trail's cranberry bogs to sandy dunes, waterways and wave-washed beaches, you'll get to explore the maritime history and coastal diversions that make this pathway a memorable getaway for local residents and visitors from all over the country.

Below are extended Travel Facts to help plan your trip and navigate the Cape.

Rest Stops
The Cape Cod Rail Trail provides numerous opportunities for riders to hop on and off to buy a snack, quench their thirst or simply rest their legs. For public restrooms, stop at Nickerson State Park in Brewster, the National Seashore Salt Pond Visitors Center in Eastham, or the National Seashore Marconi Area in Wellfleet.

Where to Stay and Eat
As one of New England's most popular vacation destinations, Cape Cod doesn't suffer from a shortage of accommodations. Start your search at for a comprehensive listing of hotels, motels, rental cottages and bed-and-breakfasts. Book well in advance if you plan to visit during the busy summer months.

Restaurants serving Asian, Latin American and European cuisine do exist on the Cape (PB Boulangerie Bistro in South Wellfleet is one writer Ben Keene enjoyed), but seafood is king of the table in this part of the country. A clam, scallop or lobster roll is a must for hungry vacationers who want a taste of local fare (try Sir Cricket's Fish & Chips in Orleans). And of course if you're craving caffeine near Orleans,
The Hot Chocolate Sparrow (508.240.2230) is percolating with great options. You can browse a wide range of casual and upscale restaurants at

Bike Rentals
Little Capistrano Bike Shop (508.244.6515) behind the Lobster Shanty in Eastham rents mountain bikes, road bikes and hybrids for as little as two hours or as long as a week. If you're starting at the south end of the trail in Dennis, you can pick up wheels at Barbara's Bike Shop (508.760.4723). Riders departing from Orleans have two options: Idle Times (508.255.5070) and Orleans Cycle (508.255.9115). 

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Ct., NW
5th Floor
Washington, DC 20037